The NSW budget was handed down 17 November 2020 with a few key points to note:
- The payroll tax rate will be reduced from 5.45% to 4.85% in 2020–21 and 2021–22.
- The payroll tax threshold is being increased from $900,000 to $1.2 million permanently from 1 July 2020.
- The government has committed $472 million to provide small and medium-sized businesses that do not pay payroll tax with a $1,500 digital voucher for the cost of government fees and charges.
Land Tax relief
The land tax COVID-19 relief for landowners has been extended to 28 March 2021 in modified form. To be eligible for relief from 1 January 2021 to 28 March 2021:
- the lease must be a retail lease
- the annual turnover of the tenant must be less than $5 million
- the tenant needs to re-establish eligibility by demonstrating a 30% decline in turnover (15% for non-profits) for the December quarter 2020.
Proposed reform for transfer duty
The government will commence public consultation on tax reforms to reduce the upfront costs for property buyers. The government’s proposed model would:
- give property buyers the choice between paying stamp duty upfront or opting for the smaller annual property tax
- enable people who opt-in to the system to also eliminate any land tax liability
- ensure that the current property owners who are not buying or selling are not affected
- replace the current stamp duty concessions provided to first home buyers with a new grant of up to $25,000, and
- include a property tax rate that would support and incentivise home ownership with a lower rate for owner-occupiers and higher rates for investors and commercial properties.
Getting out and about
Up to $500 million will be spent on the Out and About program to stimulate spending in the local economy, including restaurants, visitor sites and cultural attractions. Every adult resident will be eligible to claim up to $100 in digital vouchers to spend on eating out and entertainment.
Trade and investment
The government has established a $250 million Jobs Plus Program that aims to create or support 25,000 jobs to 30 June 2022 and will support companies who want to relocate their head offices to NSW or expand their jobs footprint in NSW.
The program includes payroll tax relief, up to a four-year period, for every new job created where a business has created at least 30 new net jobs.
There’s also a commitment of $179.8 million to grow the trade and investment network offshore to support NSW businesses in key international markets.
Training and upskilling workers
The NSW government said it will invest $318.6 million over two years in the Skilling for Recovery training package — to help jobseekers retrain or upskill and support school leavers entering the workforce for the first time.
Further, it will invest $57.4 million over four years to create a Trades Skills Pathways Centre to address skills shortages in the NSW economy and support employment for women.
In addition, grants of up to $5,000 will be available to help women with the training and support required to return to the workforce.
These are just a few of the initiatives and there are many more including investing in the arts and sports. For more read the NSW Budget 2020.